Like hired guns in a John Wayne Western, wily veterans Gustavo Oliveira and Wilson Neto are charging back to the Thunder Bay Chill for a playoff push.
Chill coach Tony Colistro on Thursday said he’s bringing the two out of retirement to replace a pair of players lost to injury for the season.
Midfielders Matt Luac (ankle) and Abraham Villion (upper body) were expected to play big roles with the Chill, who play their final two regular season games this weekend at Chapples Park against the Kansas City Brass."
Instead, Colistro will turn to two of his most experienced alumni to fill the void. Both players were members of the 2008 Premier Development League championship team and retired after last season's semifinal loss.
“With the injuries to Matt and now more recently to Abraham, we had to bring in some assistance to our midfield” Colistro said in a release issued Thursday.
Midfielder Dominic Roberts is nursing a quadriceps injury and was unable to play last Saturday in Des Moines, though he is expected to return against the Brass.
“We think that Dominic will be able to play this weekend, but you can see the problems we are facing with the injuries and suspensions,” said Colistro.
Team officials are also imploring fans to come out on Friday to prove the Chill are capable of supporting a first- or second-round playoff series.
“Our attendance will be important to show the league that we are capable of to host a quality playoff environment that will be supported by fans so hopefully people can get out this weekend,” said general manager John Marrello.
Conference play-downs are scheduled for next weekend, with the competition to host likely narrowed between the Chill and Michigan Bucks.